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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, everybody! I had a shop put in a DoD kit for me last week and everything feels good but the noise is worrying me. It also seems more pronounced when the engine is cold. Can somebody help me try to figure out what my next steps are? I'm thinking I'll just bring it back to the shop tomorrow, but i'd still like some opinions. TIA!

Start up
Hot tick

Here's all the parts of my DoD kit:
G8only.com basic stuff
BTR Stage 2 cam
Morel LS7 Style Lifters
BTR .660 Platinum Spring Kit w/Titanium Retainers
7.400" - BTR LS CHROMOLY PUSHRODS .080" WALL , 5/16" (16) (Standard)
ARP Head Bolts
Kooks Headers 1 7/8" x 3" Catted Super Street Series (Kooks mids)
BTR LS Trunnion kit V2

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To me that sounds like the regular ls motor sewing machine noise not to mention headers make the valve train more noisy because they are thinner than stock iron manifolds and dont absorb much noise. My car sounds the exact same but I dont have the dod delete, but someone else might chime in and say that's normal. In which case, they'll be helping both of us!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply! I was thinking the first video sounds fine as well, but once the engine is warmed up (second video) that's what sounds wrong to me. I'd think everything should quiet down the same as the engine warms up, but it sounds like there's one lifter that's having a bad time in there.

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I have same exact cam and lifters with headers. Lifter preload was like .042" with 7.4" pushrods. Cold start sounds identical to mine, warm sounds about the same too but yours sounds a bit more like an exhaust leak in video 2.

I always second guess my noise every now and then but then i watch videos of the same noise lol. Only time i actually had an issue was when i had a very pronouced high pitch chirp.

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Just a suggestion:

Seems some have been able to quiet down valve train noise with a heavier oil (saw this on BITOG). Something cheap to try.
 

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Check the pushrods again. Certainly seems like they could be too short, which could explain why it gets louder as it get hot. Block and heads expand lowering the preload on the lifter.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the suggestions everybody! I am going to do an oil change on it and put some Mobil 1 full synthetic 5w-30 in since they used semi synthetic at the shop. I'm also going to pull the valve covers today to check if there is any play in the pushrods.

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok, quick update; I checked the pushrods to see if I could spin any of them, and they're all in there pretty tight. I took the car out to warm it up a bit then let it idle in my driveway for a sec and I did notice a little pre cat exhaust smell. Now I'm leaning toward an exhaust leak where the headers bolt up to the aftermarket cats, but I need to let them cool down a bit before sticking my hand in there.

Also, just for fun I counted the number of ticks per 10 sec and since I'm idling a bit lower that 750 rpm, if it's an exhaust leak I should be hearing about 30 ticks per 10 sec from one side of the motor (((750/6)/2)/2) assuming it takes 2 crank rotations for all cylinders to fire, which I'm pretty sure is correct. Either way, what I'm hearing seems way too fast and consistent to be one lifter.

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If you could spin any of the pushrods they'd be WAY too short. LS7 lifter preload spec ranges from .050-.100", and GM specs .082" (if i recall correctly). So if you're close to the bottom end of that range, or even under, then the pushrod would still be tight, but not tight enough. That said, you need to double check the required preload for your Morel lifters. My Johnson lifters only called for .035" +/- .010" of preload. And Johnson told me to be on the tighter side since aluminum block.

All that said, yeah, it's a good idea to check all your exhaust header bolts again. I actually need to do the same.
 

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If you are going to try a different oil, BITOG forums seems to suggest Castrol Magnatec is better than M1 at quieting valve train noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok, the mechanic I took it to is pretty certain there's an exhaust leak, but I have a pushrod measurement tool coming anyway. I am going to just buy a new header gasket from Napa and replace it since they're only like $20 and I'm not too sure about the kooks gaskets.

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Ok, the mechanic I took it to is pretty certain there's an exhaust leak, but I have a pushrod measurement tool coming anyway. I am going to just buy a new header gasket from Napa and replace it since they're only like $20 and I'm not too sure about the kooks gaskets.

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That explains it. The Kooks gaskets are known to leak. The best bet is ACDelco gasket.
 

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Bob is the Oil Guy forum is one place that always has some rather interesting/exhaustive conversations.
 

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Bob is the Oil Guy forum is one place that always has some rather interesting/exhaustive conversations.
Yeah, but its really hard to glean practical/useful info from BITOG with all the obsessing over the detail tech stuff (and I'm an engineer too).
 

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I switched to 10W30 synthetic and got rid of the ticking.Oil pressure is more stable too. An easy test for your car is pour in a half can of STP oil treatment. if it is oil pressure related your ticking will stop in 5 min. The pushrod spin test if done when you back up the rocker bolt. Slowly tighten the bolt as you spin the push rod. when the rod stops spinning easily , you are at zero pre-load for the lifter. Then see how far the bolt turn to reach the torque spec. If you are less than half a turn, you need longer pushrods. Stock are 7.385. That is why the 7.400" are so popular to get a bit more preload. For my 1.85 Rockers I used 7.425" to get my pre-load to 3/4 of a turn. For the OP, get an ELM327 module and an app for your phone so you can read oil pressure. If you are dropping under 20 psi at idle , the stiff springs are bleeding down the lifters and they tick. Try the heavier oil first.
 

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Did you/the shop order the pushrods when you ordered the other parts? It's best to get the cam in and then order the push rods. If they ordered them before hand good chance they're not the correct length.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for all the suggestions! I'm currently waiting for a day off to actually measure my pushrods since I did order them at the same time as the rest of my parts. I replaced the exhaust manifold gasket on the driver side and it quieted it down a little bit, but I still think it might be leaking from the joint right above the catalytic converter.

Once I measure my pushrods, I'll know a bit more, so I'll update once I've had a chance to do that.

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